How do puppy buyers determine if they are getting a quality puppy? Where does a quality pet come from?

An excellent way to evaluate the quality of the puppy is to evaluate the source. Be prepared to walk away, regardless of how cute the puppies are. Don’t take your children on the first visit as they will make it harder for you to refuse to buy if the breeder doesn’t meet your standards.

Pet Shops, Dealers, Commercial Kennels

These outlets rely heavily on impulse buying, which is a poor way to choose an addition to your family. Pups are bred and raised as a cash crop to become merchandise sold for a high profit. This high profit is possible because little has been put into the care of these pups or their mother. The purpose of a commercial breeder is to breed dogs for profit. Little or no attention is paid to the genetic health, temperament and appearance of the dogs used as breeding stock. Commercial sources rarely accept responsibility for the puppy after it is sold.

Backyard or Casual Breeder

Usually this is the person who owns a Welsh and thinks it would be “fun” to have puppies or that it would be a great experience for the children. Perhaps it’s an effort to recoup the original cost of the dog. Usually, these breeders know little of the breed’s history or standard and still less about grooming and care. They are not aware of breed concerns or health issues. Like commercial breeders, casual backyard breeders make little or no investment in their breeding stock. Their goal is to produce pups and, when the “fun” is over, sell them quickly. The backyard breeder’s responsibility to the puppy also ends when the puppy is sold.

Quality Hobby Breeder

The very best choice for a quality pup. Breeding a quality puppy is a serious labor of love, dedication and responsibility. The quality puppy is the result of the breeder’s love of dogs a dedication to the breed and a responsibility to the dogs the breeder has produced for as long as they live. The quality puppy comes from a breeder who acknowledges responsibility for every puppy produced. A quality pet starts with a careful breeding program in which the characteristics and temperaments of the puppy’s ancestors are known to the breeder. Animals being bred undergo careful evaluation and medical screening. A quality breeder tries to produce a pet who is as close as possible to the breed standard (the blueprint of what a Welsh should be). Once the puppies are born, the quality pet is the result of careful socialization and human bonding by the breeder. A well socialized, “people-oriented” pup is the result of positive contact with humans from the first days of its life. Since puppies learn a tremendous amount from their mother, the temperament and socialization of the dam is of primary importance to the personality of the pup.

A quality puppy comes from a quality breeder.

How does a puppy buyer identify a quality breeder?

Deal directly with the breeder, not with a middleman, a broker or a pet store. A quality breeder will only sell directly to the new owner and does not deal through middlemen or brokers. A quality breeder will not allow the resale of his puppies through a third party. A quality breeder will be happy to show you the mother of the litter. Occasionally a breeder may have a puppy from a bitch that he has bred and sold or from a stud dog he owns, in which case the mother may not be present. A quality breeder breeds only the best dogs. This is why most dogs used in his breeding program are Champions – a Champion is not merely a “show dog” but, most importantly, a dog who has proven itself to be an outstanding example of the breed in temperament and structure and is worthy to be bred.

A quality breeder is concerned about the future of the breed and the future of the puppies he breeds. A quality breeder will ask many questions about you and your lifestyle to determine if a Welsh is a suitable pet for you and will ask to meet you in person, when at all practical, before making a commitment on a pup. A quality breeder will only sell puppies under a contract limiting their use for breeding by means of AKC Limited Registration, co-ownership contracts and/or spay/neuter agreements. A quality breeder will require, as a condition of sale, that all animals that are not part of a responsible breeding program be spayed or neutered.

A quality breeder will make sure that you are aware of the pros and cons of Welsh ownership as well as the grooming requirements. He will provide written material about the needs and development of the puppy. A quality breeder is available to help with any questions or problems that may arise. A quality breeder is a member of the Welsh Terrier Club of America and has signed the Club’s Code of Ethics. Quality breeders acknowledge responsibility for every puppy they produce for the life of the dog and stand behind every dog they breed.

Quality Welsh breeders are hobby breeders who may have one or two litters a year so you may have to wait for your puppy.

A quality puppy is worth the wait — buyer beware.

Never be in a hurry. There is a responsible breeder out there with a puppy for you. Wait until you find him/her. The best rule of thumb is: meet the breeder, see the mother, and see the conditions under which the puppy has been raised. Beware of the term “champion lines”. Beware of claims of “home raised” or “privately bred” pups unless you can see for yourself where the pups were born and raised. Beware of the seller who claims to be selling a litter for a “friend” or “relative”. Commercial breeders frequently send “litter lots” on consignment to middlemen who, in turn, sell the pups from their homes. Beware of the seller who is unwilling to give the registered names and AKC numbers of the sire and dam of the litter. Beware of the seller who is unwilling to provide the name and address of the breeder of the puppies or will provide them only when you buy the puppy. Beware of the seller who does not have a copy of the puppy’s pedigree for your inspection prior to buying the puppy. Beware of claims such as “uncompromisingly clear of inherited diseases” or “proven clear” or “guaranteed clear” of inherited diseases since there is no way to prove these claims. Beware of “guarantees” – most genetic problems do not appear until a dog is over two years old. The best guarantee of a healthy dog is a careful, well-planned breeding program.

The WTCA wishes to express our appreciation to the Skye Terrier Club of America and the Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier Club of America for allowing us to use their copyright protected material on this page.